Document Type


Publication Date


Publication Source

Review of Scientific Instruments


Helium dropletbeam methods have emerged as a versatile technique that can be used to assemble a wide variety of atomic and molecular clusters. We have developed a method to measure the binding energies of clusters assembled in helium droplets by determining the minimum droplet sizes required to assemble and detect selected clusters in the spectrum of the dopeddropletbeam. The differences in the droplet sizes required between the various multimers are then used to estimate the incremental binding energies. We have applied this method to measure the binding energies of cyclic waterclusters from the dimer to the tetramer. We obtain measured values of D0 that are in agreement with theoretical estimates to within ∼20%. Our results suggest that this threshold-based approach should be generally applicable using either mass spectrometry or optical spectroscopy techniques for detection, provided that the clusters selected for study are at least as strongly bound as those of water, and that a peak in the overall spectrum of the beam corresponding only to the cluster chosen (at least in the vicinity of the threshold) can be located.

Inclusive pages

073109-1 to 073109-5



Document Version

Published Version


This document is provided for download in compliance with the publisher's policy on self-archiving. Permission documentation is on file.


American Institute of Physics



Peer Reviewed